UIPI Coffee Talks: National Response to Covid-19: Real Estate and Housing
7 April 2020
On 7 April 2020, against the background of the challenging times everyone is experiencing because of the current pandemic, UIPI held an online meeting with its members in order to gather their views and positions on the national responses to Covid-19 in the housing and real estate sectors.
All over Europe, governments have urgently adopted measures to protect tenants from eviction, put in place moratorium or reduction on commercial – and sometimes residential – rents, or introduced mortgage payment breaks. The online meeting was the occasion to share national measures to address those challenges and share best practice examples, while fostering cross-border exchanges.
Building on the UIPI ‘Living Document’ published in March, which mapped national responses to the crisis in our sector, the meeting was the perfect occasion to comparatively assess different political and regulatory actions across the continent. Despite the different approaches undertaken, it was clear to everyone that one thing should always be attempted to be achieved: the complete avoidance of any unilateral solution. All parties should be heard and ad hoc case-by-case solutions must be sought. All the more so in times of crisis, comprehensive agreements that account for the interests of all the affected parties should be the norm.
What is sure is that, unfortunately, difficult times lie ahead for everyone, with little to no guarantee of what future holds for our sectors. The longer this Covid-19 crisis will last, the most likely it is to have a brutal impact on citizens, businesses and the members of our national associations. However, from every crisis new opportunities might come. In this respect, this could be the right time for representative organisations to strengthen their key linking role between the society and the national governments, so as to protect citizens’ rights and interests while paving the way for a better future for all.